Promotion Personalities – Alex Parker

1989/90 Programme

The following article was published during the 1989-90 season in the match day programme and is reproduced here in full.

Today sees us looking at the third player in our ‘’Promotion Personalities’ series, the Scot, Alex Parker.

A native of Irvine, Ayrshire, Alexander Hershaw Parker began his career with Kello Rovers who switched him from centre-forward to wing-half. But it was as a full-back that Alex, as he was always called, won international fame. He joined Falkirk in August 1952 and after 6 seasons in the Scottish First Division, made 121 appearances and gained 8 of his 15 Scottish International caps. In 1957 he gained a Scottish Cup winners’ medal and in the same year was elected Scotland’s ‘Player of the Year’.

Alex joined Everton in May 1958 for 18,000 pounds and shortly after completing his move to Goodison was posted to Cyprus with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, delaying his Everton debut until 8th November 1958. In a little over 7 seasons at Everton he made 198 League appearances including 33 in their 1962-63 championship side.

A full-back in the classic mould – thoughtful, methodical and placing the ball accurately he joined Southport in September 1965, making his debut against Bradford Park Avenue on 17th September, and was almost immediately made Captain of the side. Though he had lost much of his speed, he was strong in the tackle and his experience proved invaluable to Billy Bingham’s young Side. He made 38 appearances in 1965-66. 32 in 1966-67 and then played in the opening 6 games in the Third Division before leaving to become Player-Manager of Ballymena United, the lrish League side, in January 1968 – a position he held until December 1969. The following season he joined Drumcondra in the League of Ireland.

Alex returned to Southport as Trainer/Coach in March 1970 and when Arthur Peat resigned as manager late the following month, Alex was appointed Team Manager on 8th May, after Southport had been relegated to the Fourth Division after only 3 seasons in Division Three.

Hopes were high that Southport would bounce straight back, particularly after the first 16 games yielded 22 points. However, Southport never recovered from a disastrous spell of 5 consecutive defeats – 4 of them at home – culminating in a shock F.A. Cup exit at the hands of Boston United. Southport had to be content with 8th place. and attendances fell as supporters showed dissatisfaction at the club’s inability to return to the Third Division. A week after the end of the season Parker was sacked despite his undoubted popularity with the players. After leaving football he became a licensee at Runcorn and for a number of years was a genial ’Mine Host’ at the Swinging Sporran public house and latterly has taken a pub in Gretna Green.